Achromatic Painting I

This first painting assignment was intimidating. Initially, I was excited about it since it was my first painting in the class. When it came time to apply what I learned in class, I was still excited and optimistic until my first few paint strokes. It is not as easy as it looks. The grays are not as easy to match up to already painted layers, either. Nevertheless, as with most things, painting takes practice and the first one will rarely ever be perfect.

My first painting in adulthood. I added the blue tint glaze later on.
Spring 2018

Firstly, the achromatic color scheme is interesting because it consists of the grayscale colors that are not seen on the color wheel. I have painted before in high school and middle school, but I do not remember ever having to mix black and white together for those paintings. Therefore, that is what I liked about this assignment, doing something new. Also, the challenge of mixing ten different shades of gray did not sound challenging, but I was mistaken. I had issues adjusting my amounts of black to white along the way, but I eventually caught on to my mistakes.

Furthermore, the more I painted, the less confident I became. On Monday, when the class first started the assignment, I was confident I would have one of the best paintings.  The reason I became less confident is because I was observing the paintings of my peers and how much better theirs seemed to come along than my own. It felt as if I was doing everything completely wrong and I started to get really hard on myself. That was all on Wednesday. I was not blocking out my shapes as we were instructed to do because I was focusing too much on the shades on my pallet not matching what I had on my canvas already.

It is clearer, now, that I focus too much on the wrong thing and it is fine to paint layers over what I previously have painted. From Wednesday afternoon to Thursday morning, I had to encourage myself to keep pushing on. I could have done better by being less cautious, because that slowed me down. I also could have devoted more time to the actual details of the painting. To me, it looked like a crappy painting in comparison to my peers’.

Despite my negative self-criticism, I did learn several more things and there were a few things I did well. I learned underpainting and how to mix paints to make different shades, along with everyone else.

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